If you’re living in Australia or visiting the country, you get to enjoy fairly unrestricted access to the internet, along with some great streaming channels, such as Foxtel, 7plus, and Netflix Australia. However, plenty of platforms aren’t accessible from within Australia, such as the US and UK Netflix libraries, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming providers.
These platforms restrict their content due to licensing rules. However, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help you bypass these restrictions and also ensure you don’t miss any of your favorite TV shows while traveling. A VPN tunnels your internet traffic through a secondary server in a location of your choice, allowing you access to region-locked websites. VPNs also encrypt your traffic, making it unreadable to snoopers such as your internet service provider, government agencies, and hackers.
If you don’t have time to read this full article, here’s a brief look at my favorite VPNs for Australia.
Best VPNs for Australia:
- NordVPN: This is my first choice for Australia. It operates a massive global network of high-speed servers and boasts excellent abilities to access restricted content. Plus it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, making it risk-free.
- Surfshark: A great budget provider with plenty to offer, especially when it comes to streaming.
- ExpressVPN: This VPN has blazing fast speeds and can easily access a ton of streaming sites.
- CyberGhost: A very user-friendly VPN with lots to offer in terms of speed, security, server network, and streaming capabilities.
- PrivateVPN: A small yet powerful VPN that offers a fast, reliable service.
- IPVanish: Has a focus on security and privacy. Ideal for torrenting.
- Private Internet Access: This lightweight option is good for streaming, has servers in Australia, and has strong security measures in place.
- Atlas VPN: A solid streaming option. It offers fast speeds and strong security.
There are a ton of VPN services to choose from, but they are definitely not all the same. VPNs differ in various facets, such as speed, security, server network, and customer service. Here is the criteria I used to decide on the best VPNs for Australia:
- Operates an expansive global server network
- Provides a fast, reliable connection
- Utilizes strong encryption
- Respects user privacy (doesn’t keep logs)
- Provides knowledgeable customer support
Take a look at the testing methodology section found later in this article for more information about the criteria I used.
Best VPNs for Australia
Here’s my list of the best VPNs for Australia.
NordVPN is my number one pick for an Australia VPN. It has a ton of servers to choose from, with over 5,600 in 60+ countries, and around 250 in Australia alone. It’s incredibly fast and accesses almost any site I throw at it, so you’ll be able to access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and lots more with no issues.
NordVPN has all the security features expected from a top provider, such as military-grade encryption, perfect forward secrecy, a kill switch (in all apps except Android), and leak protection. It also has some handy extras such as automatic WiFi protection and double VPN (which routes your traffic through two servers). NordVPN keeps no logs whatsoever.
Customer support is available at all times to help with questions, setup, or troubleshooting. Download apps for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Select routers are configurable with the VPN. NordVPN allows up to six connections at a time.
- Expansive global server network
- Easily bypasses geo-restrictions
- Excellent speeds
- Lots of additional security features
- Keeps no logs
- Can be slow to connect to some servers
BEST AUSTRALIA VPN:NordVPN is my first choice for an Australia VPN. It has a huge network of servers, can access lots of popular streaming sites, and includes a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Surfshark is a great budget VPN that has been making quite the splash. It operates more than 3,000 servers in 95+ countries, including options in Australia. Surfshark has proven abilities to access geo-restricted content, including that from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
Security features include 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch in all apps, perfect forward secrecy, and leak protection. Surfshark keeps no logs, so has no information to hand over to third parties.
You can download apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, or configure the VPN to select routers. This provider currently allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices under each plan. It offers 24/7 support via live chat.
- Excellent streaming capabilities
- Strong suite of security features
- Allows unlimited connections
- No logs at all
- Could improve customer support
BEST BUDGET CHOICE:Surfshark is fast and reliable, and allows an unlimited number of connections. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 servers in 94+ countries, including options in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney). This VPN is known for its fast speeds and ability to unblock geo-restricted media, such as that from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. If you’re a sports fan, ExpressVPN can help there too, as it accesses ESPN, BT Sports, TSN, and more. In addition, if you’re traveling outside Australia and want to keep up with content from back home, ExpressVPN will enable you access to Foxtel, 7plus, and other sites.
ExpressVPN employs 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy. You get protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks and desktop apps have a kill switch (dubbed a “network lock”). The latter will kill your internet connection in case you unexpectedly become disconnected from the VPN, ensuring you never browse unprotected. ExpressVPN maintains minimal metadata logs but nothing that could be used to identify a user.
Apps are available for Linux, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. ExpressVPN can be configured with select routers and even has its own custom firmware. Five connections are permitted at one time.
- Large server network
- Very fast speeds
- Great at accessing streaming sites
- Highly secure
- Priced a bit higher than some rivals
GREAT ALL-ROUNDER:ExpressVPN is a great alternative for a VPN in Australia. It has solid speeds, tight security, and can navigate geo-restrictions. Plans come with a 30-day no-quibbles money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost has been rapidly expanding its server network over the past few years. It now operates more than 8,900 servers in 90+ countries, with 76+ in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney). This service comes with user-friendly apps that help you quickly select the right server for your use case, for example, torrenting or unblocking Netflix. It unlocks lots of sites, including Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
Aside from a great user experience, you can expect strong security and privacy features. CyberGhost doesn’t keep any logs and protects your information with 256-bit AES encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch in all apps. There’s also the option of automatic WiFi protection on familiar networks.
CyberGhost apps are available for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Up to seven simultaneous connections are permitted. The VPN can be configured with Linux and some routers. Live chat support is available 24/7.
- Rapidly growing network of servers
- Fast speeds for streaming and downloading
- Easy-to-use apps
- Accesses Netflix and other sites
- Doesn’t have many advanced configuration options
FAST AND SECURE:CyberGhost offers user-friendly apps and a fast, reliable connection. It can access Netflix and other sites with ease. Includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN has a far smaller network than the other providers on this list, but it still covers lots of countries, including Australia. It has over 200 servers altogether in 60+ countries, including three in Australia, (two in Sydney and one in Melbourne). PrivateVPN is known for its fast speeds and ability to easily access sites like Netflix and Hulu, making it a great option for streaming.
The privacy-focused VPN keeps no logs at all. It protects your information with 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, and a kill switch in the Windows app.
Apps are available for Windows,macOS, iOS, and Android. Up to 10 simultaneous connections are allowed. This is another provider that offers support around the clock.
- Fast speeds
- Adept at accessing geo-restricted media
- Keeps no logs
- Small server network
- Live chat isn’t 24/7
IDEAL FOR STREAMING:PrivateVPN is fast, secure, and reliable, and accesses some of the most stubborn restricted platforms. It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish has a network of around 2,000 servers in 75+ countries. 67+ of these are in Australia, so if you’re traveling outside the country, you have plenty of options for watching Foxtel and 7plus. IPVanish can easily navigate geo-restrictions and can help you access Netflix US, among other sites.
This service is popular with torrenters and Kodi users. You can download the Android APK directly to your device and it’s easy to use with a remote control versus a keyboard and mouse. IPVanish keeps no logs at all. It uses strong encryption with perfect forward secrecy, and has built-in leak protection and a kill switch (in the desktop apps).
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, and the VPN is configurable with select routers. There’s no connection limit.
- Decent selection of servers
- Strong on privacy and security
- Fast and reliable connections
- Doesn’t accept bitcoin
PRIVACY-FOCUSED:IPVanish is a privacy-focused VPN that has fast speeds and can access some streaming sites. It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access (PIA) gives users several server options as they have servers in around 80 countries. This includes servers in Australia, the US, and Canada. PIA is a lightweight option that has fast speeds thanks to its use of the fast and efficient WireGuard VPN protocol. This VPN also lets users customize the app interface. Overall, you will have lots of location options with your VPN servers. This will allow you to choose a server that best serves your needs.
In addition to having a good range of servers, PIA also doesn’t skimp on its security measures. PIA’s security measures include AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch to cut off your internet connection in case your VPN connection is abruptly terminated, and split tunneling so that you can choose which apps you want to be protected by your VPN connection.
PIA provides apps for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and iOS. There is also a competent customer service team that is available 24/7 via the provided live chat. Users are allowed to make 10 simultaneous connections under a single subscription.
- Lightweight option that isn’t heavy on system resources
- Strong security measures in place
- WireGuard VPN protocol supported
- Can be customized
- Can have problems with connections in China
- App design could be improved
LIGHTWEIGHT OPTION WITH FAST SPEEDS:PIA won't tie up too much of your system resources and it is a fast option. In addition, it has strong security measures in place and is customizable. This VPN also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Atlas VPN is a smaller VPN provider that has around 750 servers in 40+ locations. Despite being a smaller provider, it provides a high-quality service with fast streaming speeds and strong security. In addition, Atlas VPN can access services from many different countries. This includes services from countries such as Australia, the US, the UK, and Canada. It is also a good option for securely accessing Netflix libraries from different locations.
Security measures include AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. This service stores no logs either and offers servers called MultiHop servers that encrypt users’ connections twice.
Atlas VPN provides apps for macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. This service supports an unlimited number of connections.
- No identifying logs are stored
- MultiHop servers encrypt data twice
- Fast connection speeds
- Can access many different streaming services
- Doesn’t work in China
- Customer service could be better
FAST STREAMING SPEEDS AND STRONG ENCRYPTION:Atlas VPN is a solid option for streaming and it also has strong security measures in place. Subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Testing methodology: how I found the best VPNs for Australia
There are many different VPN services that are available in today’s world. However, not all of them are high-quality offerings. I carried out stringent testing using my in-depth testing methodology to ensure that I compiled a list of top-quality VPNs. Here are some of the factors that I considered while compiling this list:
- Servers: I looked for VPN servers with as many servers as possible. The more servers the better. This also includes server locations. In fact, the amount of server locations is sometimes a better indicator of the quality of a VPN, since more locations mean a better opportunity for bypassing geographic restrictions.
- Ability to access services: VPNs must be able to allow access to services in several locations. For example, Australians traveling abroad may want to access local streaming services. However, not all VPNs are good at accessing streaming services, so I made sure the options in my list perform well in this area.
- Security: VPNs can provide increased protection to users since it encrypts their connection. This is especially important in the case of users who access open WiFi networks such as those found in airports and coffee shops. VPNs should make the online experience safer overall and this is the case with the options here. Security measures such as AES 256-bit encryption and leak protection help to keep users’ connections secure.
- Speed: All VPNs will slow down an internet connection a little. However, this should be negligible, allowing users to access their usual online services without noticing much lag or buffering. This ensures a smooth and frustration-free experience.
How to use a VPN to access restricted content
One of the most popular use cases for a VPN in any country is to access geo-restricted content. You’d think that companies like Netflix that enable you to stream content online would simply grant you access wherever you are in the world, especially if you’ve paid to subscribe to the service. But due to licensing restrictions, they fence off content to specific regions.
Most sites use your IP address to determine your location. This means that switching your IP address (with a VPN) will make it appear that you’re somewhere else. Here’s how to use a VPN to access restricted content:
- Select a suitable VPN (I recommend NordVPN) and submit payment.
- Download the appropriate app for your device from the VPN provider website or the relevant app store.
- Install the VPN app and enter your credentials to get started.
- Connect to a server in your streaming source region. For example, connect to a US server for Netflix US, a UK one for BBC iPlayer, or an Australian server for Foxtel.
- Navigate to the stream you want to watch and enjoy!
If this doesn’t work the first time, try clearing your cache and cookies. Note that many services actively block VPN traffic, so you may see an error, for example, the Netflix proxy error:
Whoops, something went wrong. Streaming error. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these services and try again.
This may mean that your VPN doesn’t work with the site or you need to connect to a different server. If you’re having issues, contact your VPN’s customer support team for help with troubleshooting.
How to get an Australian IP address to watch Aussie TV
A VPN isn’t just helpful for watching foreign content while in Australia. It can also help you view content from back home while you’re traveling abroad. For example, if you’re on vacation or traveling for business, you may want to keep up with your favorite shows and movies on platforms like Foxtel, SBS, and ABC. Plus, some sporting events shown on networks such as Seven and Nine can be hard to find coverage for when abroad.
To get an Australian IP address, all you need to do is follow the steps above for accessing restricted content. When you get to step four, connect to an Australian VPN server. Your real IP address will be replaced with an Australian one, and it will appear to these networks that you’re actually located in the country. Some VPNs have multiple Australian server locations, which means you can often access content that is restricted to select regions of the country.
Best VPNs for Australia FAQs
Can I use a free VPN in Australia?
Free VPNs are definitely not difficult to come by, but I don’t recommend you use them. From a practical standpoint, a free VPN will fall short on several fronts. Most only operate servers in a few countries, so you’re already very limited as to what content you can access. Additionally, very few are able to bypass the restrictions imposed by popular streaming platforms, so you likely won’t be able to watch content from sites like Netflix.
Even if you do manage to access your favorite show, the joy will be short-lived. Free VPNs have low bandwidth and data caps. This means you’ll endure poor connections and may only get to watch half a show at best.
Free VPNs don’t perform well in terms of privacy and security either. Many track your activity and sell your data to third-party advertisers. Others forgo the hassle of employing strong encryption, or any encryption at all. One study found that some free VPN apps carried malware, and one report even uncovered a VPN using its customers' idle bandwidth to run a botnet.
I’d rather pay a few dollars per month and maintain peace of mind. If you're on a tight budget, then take a look at my cheap VPN recommendations.
Will a VPN stop my ISP from collecting metadata?
Under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015, Australian ISPs are required to collect and store information about their users. While some outlets claim that VPNs can stop this type of tracking, this isn't really the case.
This data retention mainly involves the collection of metadata, such as the time and date you connect to the internet, your location, and how much data your transfer. Even when using a VPN, your ISP can still see this information. It assigns you your real IP address so can still determine your general location before your traffic passes through the VPN server. And your ISP provides your internet connection, so can still see when you connect and how much data is passing through.
A VPN encrypts the contents of your traffic, so your ISP (and anyone else) can't read its contents. Of course, now or in the future, it's always possible your ISP could monitor things like which websites you visit and what files you download. In this case, a VPN can help.
Can I torrent with a VPN in Australia?
Looking to torrent in Australia? As is the case in many other countries, it's illegal to torrent copyrighted material in Australia. While you won't stumble across a lot of cases of successful lawsuits involving torrenting in the country, there have been efforts to crack down on the practice.
In 2016, a "three-strikes" rule was due to be implemented, which would have seen ISPs sending letters to customers who infringed on copyrights. However, a dispute over who would foot the bill for the scheme resulted in it being scrapped altogether.
Instead, many piracy websites have been blocked in Australia, including The Pirate Bay and Torrentz. New laws put in place in 2018 ensure ISPs can quickly block proxy and mirror sites of these censored sites, and require search engines not to rank them highly. In May, 2019, after pressure from ISPs and copyright owners, Google voluntarily de-indexed more than 800 pirate sites from its Australian index.
So where do VPNs come in? Using a VPN such as those in the list above will give you access to restricted torrent sites. However, utilizing a VPN doesn't get around the fact that torrenting copyrighted content is illegal, so it's best to stick to legal torrents.
What else can I use an Australia VPN for?
VPNs aren’t just good for streaming restricted content. They’re also useful for a host of other reasons. A VPN hides your activity from any snoopers. This is great for activists, whistleblowers, journalists, and anyone else who doesn’t want others knowing about everything they do online.
VPNs are a crucial tool for travelers, especially if you connect to public WiFi networks. Many of these are unsecured and are prime targets for hackers who attempt to steal your information. Covering yourself with a VPN means that even if a hacker intercepts your connection, your information will be encrypted and therefore unreadable.
Another use case for VPNs is accessing online bank accounts from abroad without raising red flags. If you connect to a server in your home country, your bank is less likely to trigger a fraud alert and lock you out of your account.
- Best VPNs for Australia
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. PrivateVPN
- 6. IPVanish
- 7. Private Internet Access
- 8. Atlas VPN
- Testing methodology: how I found the best VPNs for Australia
- How to use a VPN to access restricted content
- How to get an Australian IP address to watch Aussie TV
- Best VPNs for Australia FAQs
- Can I use a free VPN in Australia?
- Will a VPN stop my ISP from collecting metadata?
- Can I torrent with a VPN in Australia?
- What else can I use an Australia VPN for?